Chiragkumar Patel’s student visa had expired.
By The American Bazaar Staff
NEW YORK: A Connecticut-based Indian man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of fleeing the scene of a fatal crash.
The felony charge against Chiragkumar Patel (28) stems from an incident that happened on April 27. According to the police, Patel was driving his car on the Electronics Parkway in Syracuse, New York around 2:40 AM that morning when he struck Michael Mahoney (48), who was riding his bike at the time.
After realizing he had struck another man, Patel allegedly got back in his car and took off, while Mahoney later died of his injuries.
Security video from a bar that Patel was at earlier in the night helped police apprehend and arrest Patel, who it turns out is in the US illegally. Patel apparently came to the country on a student visa, but after his education was done, he stayed in the country – in clear violation of the terms of his visa.
Because of this, Patel’s original $200,000 bail was taken away by the courts, and he is now being held without any bail as he awaits trial.
Local news source syracuse.com reports that federal immigration authorities negotiated with the Salinas County Court to keep Patel in jail because of his immigration status, calling bail a “moot point.”
Now that Patel has entered his plea, his next court date is set to be on August 8.